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Managing Bus Runs for After School Programs

Upside Down School BusDoes keeping track of bus runs leave you feeling upside down? With the school year under way, you may find yourself needing a better way to record the time groups of children get on or off the bus. This is especially true if your child care or preschool offers before and after school programs for older children.

It’s easy to straighten out arrival and departure times of school-age children when using a child care management system like Procare Software.

Create the Bus Run Names

A bus run can be named for a school, a time of arrival, or even the name of the driver—whatever helps you identify the group of children being checked in.

First, you’ll create the name of each bus. Within Procare’s Family Data Software use the “Child Tracking” categories for bus runs.

  1. From the Procare Home screen choose Configuration > System > Data Management > Tracking Items & User Defined Fields > Local (or Global) Tracking Items.
  2. Choose the Child tab at the top and create a Tracking Group Name called “Bus Runs” or “Transportation”. Mark it as a Multi-Item group, since a child may be assigned to more than one bus.
  3. Within the group create items for each bus run, such as Lincoln – AM, Lincoln – PM, etc. If your bus has a limited capacity, set a Usage Limit for the maximum number of children assigned to each bus.
    Set Up Bus Runs for After School

Assign Each Child to a Bus

Select the Tracking icon for each child and check off the appropriate bus runs for them.
Procare Child Tracking Icon

Check a Bus of Children In or Out

Now you’re ready to check in an entire busload of children at once—using Procare’s Attendance Tracker. Of course, you’ll be able to select them child-by-child if everyone is not on the bus that day.

  1. From the main screen of Procare Family Data click Functions > Attendance Tracker > Batch Check In/Out.
  2. Choose the type of procedure, like Check In (top left) and adjust the time as needed.
  3. Select the Child Tracking Item (bus) you want included in this procedure, for example ‘Lincoln – AM’.
  4. Choose to use each child’s Scheduled Classroom or default Primary Class.
  5. Click Refresh List (bottom left) and all children eligible to be checked in will be displayed.
  6. Check the box (upper right) to include all children (or mark them individually if not everyone is being checked in) and then click Process.
    Check In a Group of Children

Best wishes to you for the new school year!

– Steve Suarez, Training Specialist

If you have questions or comments about this article (or suggestions for another article) I’d be pleased to hear from you. Drop me a note at

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Managing Bus Runs for After School Programs
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Managing Bus Runs for After School Programs
Learn how to check in a group of children all at the same time. This is a perfect tool for after school programs with bus runs.
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